What is Noh?

One of the oldest continually performed theatre forms in the world, Noh combines dance, chant, music, and mask in a powerful and stately performance experience requiring intense inner concentration and physical discipline.

Noh, and the sister art of Kyogen, were developed during the late Kamakura period of the 14th century.

Far from being a “museum piece” Noh continues to develop and grow in popularity though the efforts of a world-wide network of enthusiasts and practitioners.

Noh is a “Total Theater” involving performance, literature and the plastic arts.

A full Noh performance creates “a state of being” by the layering and re-layering of images and sound.

Compression, abstraction, and the repressed power of voice and body create the stunning intensity that is Noh. A Noh actor is required to emote, sing and perform key dances with exceptional grace and control. The training is intense, rigorous and life-long.

In 2001, the U.N.’s Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization cited Noh as a masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity.

More information can be found here